August 2nd, 2015

5000+ FPS with 22BR Improved and 30gr Berger Bullets

Forum member XmarksSpot has been shooting a wicked fast varmint cartridge that has broken the 5000-fps barrier using Berger 30gr varmint bullets. That’s some serious velocity! The parent case is a 6mmBR, which is then improved and necked down to .224 caliber. XmarksSpot reports:

Some people think 5000+ fps is mythical. Well just thought I’d let you guys know that I got 5239 fps a couple weeks ago shooting 30-grainers with my 224 McDonald, a wildcat cartridge based on an improved 6BR case necked down to 224. (This case is very similar to a 22 Dasher.) The bullet used is the 30gr Berger. (The 40s run fast too — about 4800 fps.) The rig is a Rem 700 with a 30″ Hart barrel. Below is the case before and after forming. As you can see it has a 40° shoulder and far more case capacity than a 22 BR (a 22 Dasher case holds about 41.0 grains H20). My most accurate loads are with 50-52gr bullets, with bugholes the norm at 4200 fps. The 40gr bullets will do 4800+ fps.

224 McDonald 22 Dasher

224 McDonald 22 Dasher

This 224 McDonald wildcat was originally developed by Charles McDonald. He has been developing and chambering custom cartridges for years. Editor’s Note: Many folks may not be aware of the little .224-caliber 30gr Berger varmint bullet, Berger item # 22301. This bullet is not on Berger’s current production list but some vendors may still have “old stock” inventory. The little 30-grainer has an 0.119 G1 BC and will work in 1:15″ or faster twist barrels. For more info, visit BergerBullets.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 10 Comments »
July 30th, 2015

New Ultra-High-BC, Solid Bullets from Warner Tool Company

Flat Line High BC bullet Warner Tool Company

Warner Tool Company (WTC) has introduced a new series of “Flat Line” ultra-high-BC bullets. These sleek, lathe-turned solids are some of the most perfectly-streamlined projectiles ever sold. The Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) of Flat Line projectiles are as much as 20% higher than other match bullets of similar caliber and weight. For example, the .30-caliber 200gr Flat Line bullet has a claimed G1 BC of 0.780. Compare that to 0.555 for the Sierra 200gr MatchKing and 0.622 for the Berger 200gr Hybrid.

The new Flat Line bullets all show extremely high Ballistic Coefficients for their weights:

Caliber Description

Twist Rate

3000-1500 fps 3500-1500 fps
G1 BC G7 BC G1 BC G7 BC
30 155.5gr Palma 10 0.553 0.285 0.576 0.290
30 175gr FTR 10 0.678 0.340 0.694 0.348
30 200gr 9 0.780 0.391 0.796 0.399
33 255.5gr LRBT 10 0.814 0.400 0.834 0.411

WTC also claims that Flat Line bullets can be launched at faster velocities than other bullets of similar caliber and weight. In its marketing materials, WTC says that Flat Line bullets deliver “Higher velocities when compared with projectiles in its weight class [and] much higher velocity when compared with projectiles of similar BC.” For example, WTC claims that “the 155.5gr .30-caliber bullet has the velocity of a 125-135gr bullet [with] the BC of a 185-200gr bullet.” It will be interesting to see if these claims can be verified in field tests.

Here are comparative G1 BCs for a variety of large .30-caliber bullets:
Flat Line High BC bullet Warner Tool Company

Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog has obtained some early-production Flat Line bullets from their designer, Josh Kunz. Zant has written a lengthy article explaining the design and features of the new Flat Line bullets. If you are considering ordering some of these new lathe-turned solids, you should definitely read Zant’s report.

READ Flat Line Bullets Product Report in Precision Rifle Blog.

These bullets were designed by Aerospace engineer Josh Kunz using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate supersonic air flow around the bullets. Through the use of advanced modeling and precision CNC machining, Kunz has developed extremely uniform, ballistically “slippery” bullets that fly faster and flatter than other projectiles of similar weight/caliber.

Premium Pricing: Flat Line Bullets Cost $125 to $165 per Hundred
These new Flat Line solid bullets are pricey. The 155s cost $1.25 per bullet and the price goes up from there. If you need large quantities of projectiles for a week-long match, the cost can be daunting. One hundred fifty of the 200-grainers will set you back $435.00! Here is a price list for the new Flat Line bullets. All quantities are in boxes of 50. Pricing is introductory and subject to change.

.30 Cal 155 grain $62.50 per 50-ct box ($1.25 per bullet)
.30 Cal 180 grain $67.50 per 50-ct box ($1.35 per bullet)
.30 Cal 200 grain $72.50 per 50-ct box ($1.45 per bullet)
.338 Cal 255 grain $82.50 per 50-ct box ($1.65 per bullet)

Is the cost worth it? When you look at the overall expense of attending a major match, and the fact that the top places in big matches are sometimes are decided by a single point (or X-Count), some competitors will spend the extra money for these ultra-high BC solids.

For more details or to place an order, visit Warner-Tool.com, call WTC at (603) 352-9521, or email info [at] warner-tool.com. CLICK HERE for WTC Flat Line Bullets Data Sheet (PDF).

Photos and Comparison Chart copyright PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Story tip from EdLongrange.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 17 Comments »
July 25th, 2015

Amazing Slow-Motion Video Shows Bullet Impacts

werner mehl kurzzeit.com high speed slow motion bullet video

Want to see a bullet hit a target in ultra-ultra-slow motion? Watch this video to witness some amazing things — such as a bullet jacket peeling back like a banana-skin (at time-mark 7:30). A while back, Werner Mehl of Kurzzeit.com produced a 10-minute video for the SHOT Show. This video has has been watched over 10.6 million times, making it one of the most popular shooting-related videos in history. Employing cameras recording at up to 1,000,000 (one million) frames per second, Mehl’s bullet flight video has been called “astounding” and “mesmerizing”. If you haven’t seen it yet, sit back and enjoy!

LINK: Kurzzeit.com Video System and PVM-21 Chronograph
Click the link above to learn more about Werner Mehl and his super-sophisticated camera systems that can record at 1,000,000 frames per second. On the same linked page you can learn about the advanced PVM-21 chronograph (now sold as the BMC-19) designed by Werner. Operating “all-infrared, all the time”, the PVM-21/BMC-19 is the best optical chronograph we have tested for very low light conditions, or very tricky light conditions.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
July 16th, 2015

Barnes Calculates Ballistics Using Doppler Radar Speed Data

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

How do you build better (more precise) ammo drop tables? With radar, that’s how. Barnes Bullets is using Doppler Radar to develop the drop tables for its new Precision Match line of factory ammunition. The Doppler radar allows Barnes to determine actual velocities at hundreds of points along a bullet’s flight path. This provides a more complete view of the ballistics “behavior” of the bullet, particularly at long range. Using Doppler radar, Barnes has learned that neither the G1 nor G7 BC models are perfect. Barnes essentially builds a custom drag curve for each bullet using Doppler radar findings.

Use of Doppler Radar to Generate Trajectory Solutions

by Barnes Bullets, LLC
Typical trajectory tables are generated by measuring only two values: muzzle velocity, and either time-of-flight to a downrange target, or a second downrange velocity. Depending on the test facility where this data is gathered, that downrange target or chronograph may only be 100 to 300 yards from the muzzle. These values are used to calculate the Ballistic Coefficient (BC value) of the bullet, and the BC value is then referenced to a standardized drag curve such as G1 or G7 to generate the trajectory table.

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedomThis approach works reasonably well for the distances encountered in most hunting and target shooting conditions, but breaks down rapidly for long range work. It’s really an archaic approach based on artillery firings conducted in the late 1800s and computational techniques developed before the advent of modern computers.

There is a better approach which has been utilized by modern militaries around the world for many years to generate very precise firing solutions. Due to the sizeable investment required, it has been slow to make its way into the commercial market. This modern approach is to use a Doppler radar system to gather thousands of data points as a bullet flies downrange. This radar data is used to generate a bullet specific drag curve, and then fed into a modern 6 Degree of Freedom (DOF) [ballistics software program] to generate precise firing solutions and greatly increase first-round hit probability. (The 6 DOF software accounts for x, y, and z position along with the bullet’s pitch, yaw, and roll rates.)

Barnes has invested heavily in this modern approach. Our Doppler radar system can track bullets out to 1500 meters, recording the velocity and time of flight of that bullet every few feet along the flight path. Consider the graph below showing a bullet specific drag curve referenced to the more common G1 and G7 curves:

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

Neither of the standard curves is a particularly good match to our test bullet. In the legacy approach to generating a downrange trajectory table, the BC value is in effect a multiplier or a fudge factor that’s used to shift the drag curve of the test bullet to try and approximate one of the standard curves. This leads to heated arguments as to which of the standardized drag curves is a better fit, or if multiple BC values should be used to better approximate the standard curve (e.g., use one BC value when the velocity is between Mach 1 and Mach 2, and a different BC value when the velocity is between Mach 2 and Mach 3.) Barnes’ approach to creating trajectory tables is to generate bullet-specific drag curves, and use that data directly in a modern, state-of-the-art, 6 DOF ballistics program called Prodas to generate the firing solution.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
July 6th, 2015

ABM Ammo Releases .260 Rem Ammunition with Berger Hybrids

ABM Ammunition Ammo .260 260 Remington 6.5mm 6.5-08 Tactical, long range
Many tactical shooters have adopted the .260 Remington as an alternative to the heavier-recoiling .308 Winchester. The .260 Rem has also performed well in the hands of long-range High Power shooters such as SSG Sherri Jo Gallagher, past National High Power Champion. The .260 Remington is basically the .308 Win necked down to .264 (6.5 mm) caliber. It can launch very high-BC 130-142 grain projectiles at impressive velocities. The ballistics of the .260 Rem allow it to shoot flatter, with less wind drift, than typical .308 Win loads.

For fans of the .260 Remington, very high-quality factory ammo is now available. ABM Ammo, a division of Berger Bullets just announced that it will produce two varieties of .260 Remington ammo.

ABM’s 260 Remington 140gr Berger Match Hybrid Target ammo is designed for class-leading ballistic and superior accuracy. Using the highest-BC 6.5 mm caliber bullet offered by Berger, the 140gr Hybrid, this load features less wind deflection and more energy on target than the competition. ABM claims that this Match Hybrid ammo is “unrivaled as a long-range 260 Remington factory ammo option.” Since it pushes a higher-BC bullet than other .260 Rem factory ammo, we’d have to agree with that statement.

Match Ready 260 Remington 140gr Berger Match Hybrid Target Specifications

Distance (yds) Muzzle 100 200 300 400
Velocity (fps) 2789 2642 2500 2363 2229
Energy (ft-lb) 2418 2171 1944 1735 1545
Bullet Details
G1 BC 0.618
G7 BC 0.317

Performance based on a 26″ barrel and sea level conditions.

Mission Ready .260 Rem OTM Tactical Load for Mag-Fed Rifles
ABM Ammo also offers .260 Rem factory ammo loaded with the NEW 130gr AR Hybrid bullet. The .260 Rem 130gr Berger Match AR Hybrid OTM Tactical load is optimized for the AR-10 platform or any magazine-fed rifle. Berger’s 130gr AR Hybrid bullet offers a 0.290 G7 BC. That’s very close to the 0.317 BC of the longer 140gr Hybrid. This, combined with a 2847 FPS muzzle velocity, provides excellent performance in a shorter COAL that feeds perfectly from box magazines.

ABM Ammunition Ammo .260 260 Remington 6.5mm 6.5-08 Tactical, long range

In fact, if you run the ballistics (using JBM) using ABM’s published MVs, you’ll find that you give up nothing with the shorter bullet. At 600 yards, the 130gr “Mission Ready” load has 78.8″ (12.5 MOA) of drop. By comparison, the “Match Ready” load with 140-grainers has 80.3″ (12.8) MOA of drop at 600 Yards (That’s not a mistake — the smaller bullet has LESS drop because it has a higher MV to start.) At 1000 yards, the “Mission Ready” load is virtually identical to the “Match Ready” load: The 130gr ammo has 304.6″ (29.1 MOA) of drop at 1000 vs 303.4″ (29.0 MOA) for the 140gr ammo at the same distance. (These calculations are based on standard conditions at sea level, with ABM supplied MVs.)

Because the ballistics are so close, you may want to try both loads in your .260 Rem rifle, even if you single-load and are not restricted by mag length. Some barrels may have a preference for one bullet over the other.

Product Tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
July 5th, 2015

RifleShooter.com Reviews New .30-Cal 175gr Tipped MatchKings

AccurateShooter Rifleshooter.com Tipped Matchkings Sierra Bullets

We know our readers are curious about the new Tipped MatchKings (TMKs) introduced by Sierra Bullets this year. Our friend Bill at Rifleshooter.com got hold of some of the .30-Cal 175-grain TMKs and tested them in his .308 Win rifle. He found the bullets were very consistent in weight. As for bearing surface, the SD was fairly low (.002″), but measurements varied from 0.400″ to 0.407″. Seven-thousandths extreme spread is more than we like to see, as it may affect accuracy. Therefore we recommend you sort by bearing surface length before loading these in match rounds.

READ Full Sierra 175gr TMK Bullet REVIEW in Rifleshooter.com »

AccurateShooter Rifleshooter.com Tipped Matchkings Sierra Bullets

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July 1st, 2015

The 6mm Super LR — .243 Winchester Made Better

6mm Super LR Gun

In our Forum recently, there was a discussion about “improved” cartridges based on the .243 Winchester parent case. One popular such cartridge is the Super LR, a 30° long-necked wildcat. The 6mm Super LR was developed by Robert Whitley, who wanted something similar to the 6XC, but with “more boiler room” to push the 115-grain bullets comfortably at 2950-3050 fps.

To illustrate the Super LR for interested readers, we dug into our archives and found a report on a 6mm Super LR varmint rifle belonging to Barry O. (aka “TheBlueEyedBear”), a long-time AccurateShooter Forum member. A few years back, Barry put together an impressive 6mm Super LR long-range varminter on a BAT SV action. Barry actually sourced many of the components for this rifle through our AccurateShooter Forum Free Classifieds. CLICK HERE to read all about Barry’s Super LR BAT-Actioned varmint rifle, featured in our popular Gun of the Week Series.

CLICK Photo to Read Full Story
BlueEyedBear Gun

The Richard Franklin walnut LowRider stock (above) for Barry’s rifle came from fellow Forum member “Preacher”, who also did most of the metal work. The gun is chambered as a 6mm Super LR.

6mm Super LR .243 Varminter

Super LR Whitley BlueEyedBear

6mm Super LR Cartridge Design and Loading Advice
by Robert Whitley, AR-X Enterprises
Conceptually, the 6mm Super LR is like a long-bodied 6XC (case body about .120″ longer). The Super LR has a long neck (.321″ vs. the .263″ long neck of the parent .243 Winchester case). The Super LR also has a 30° shoulder angle vs. the 20° shoulder angle of the .243 Winchester parent case. The Super LR has about 54 grains of H20 capacity, compared to 55 grains for the .243 Win and 49 grains H20 for the 6XC.

The Super LR has sufficient case capacity to shoot the 115gr 6mm bullets in the 2950 – 3000 fps range without being “on the edge” of maximum pressure. If you do not need to run sustained fire in long strings, you can “hot rod” things more. Testing has shown that the Super LR can run the 115s up around 3100 fps without issues. With the 105-108 grain 6mm bullets, the 6mm Super LR can push them up in the 3150-3200 fps range with the right powders. In addition, if you like to shoot the 105-108 grain bullets close to the lands, or engaging the lands, the Super LR cartridge case neck is long enough to give most of them a good bearing surface purchase, even if the chamber is throated for the 115gr bullets. That gives the 6mm Super LR cartridge great versatility.

The 30° shoulder angle of the 6mm Super LR is another good feature of the Super LR. Not only does it help to avoid the throat-torching effect that people associate with the .243 Winchester (because of the .243’s short neck and 20° shoulder angle), but the 30° shoulder angle has also been a hallmark of some very accurate cartridges such as the 6 PPC, 6mm BR, 6XC, and 6.5 x 47, to name a few.

6mm Super LR Whitley

The 6mm Super LR wildcat is easy to make. Robert Whitley figured out how to reform domestic .243 Win brass with one simple pass through a Redding 6mm Super LR full-length sizing die. Robert has commissioned these dies from Redding. Call Robert at (215) 348-8789 to order.Learn more about the 6mm Super LR on Whitley’s www.6mmAR.com website.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 7 Comments »
June 29th, 2015

Applied Ballistics Tests 50+ Types of .22 LR Rimfire Ammo

.22 LR Rimfire Ammunition testing Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Eley
Photo shows Bryan Litz (on right) and tester Mitchell Fitzpatrick. Bryan said: “Only 2,445 rounds to go! We’re testing over 50 ammo types in five different twist barrels… science can be exhausting!”

Do you know the actual BC (Ballistic Coefficient) of your rimfire ammunition? Well Applied Ballisitics will soon have answers for you. Bryan Litz and his team of testers have been working on a Herculean project. They’ve been testing over fifty types of .22 LR ammo, using five different twist-rate barrels.

.22 LR Rimfire Ammunition testing Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Eley

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 15 Comments »
June 26th, 2015

Case Prep Tips from Western Powders

Western Powders Case Preparation prep inspection flash holes primer pockets reloading

Western Powders (which sells Accurate, Ramshot, and Norma powders) has published an article on case inspection and preparation. There are many tips in this article that can be useful to precision hand-loaders. For example, every time you open a new box of cartridge brass (particularly from domestic makers), you should inspect each case for flaws.

TIP ONE: Visual Inspection — Finding Flaws
Cases are mass-produced items and malformed ones are relatively common. Inspect each case carefully looking for obvious defects. A bench-mounted magnifying glass with light is a real help for the over-40 crowd. The main defects will be cracks in the neck or case body, crushed shoulders or deep creases in the neck. Next check the primer pocket. It is also fairly common to find flash holes that are damaged or, more rarely, not concentric to the primer pocket.

Western Powders Case Preparation prep inspection flash holes primer pockets reloading

Imperfections like small dings in the case body, or necks that are not completely symmetrical do not have to be eliminated at this step. Damage of this sort is usually from loose packaging and usually has not seriously damaged the brass. [Running an expander mandrel in the neck] and fire-forming will iron out these largely cosmetic issues.

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June 25th, 2015

ABM .308 Win Ammo with Berger 185gr Juggernaut Bullets

ABM Ammunition Ammo Juggernaut Berger Bullets 185

ABM Ammo, a division of Berger Bullets, has introduced new, high performance .308 Winchester factory ammunition, loaded with the high-BC, 185gr Berger Juggernauts. The long-loaded “Match Ready” version of this ammo is designed for Palma (Full-bore) and F-TR shooters. A “Mission Ready” version, loaded shorter to mag length, is designed for tactical and military applications. These two new offerings should “raise the bar” for long-range performance with factory .308 Win ammo.

Offering a high Ballistic Coefficient (0.560 G1, 0.283 G7), the 185-grain .308-caliber Juggernaut bullet is designed to remain stable even in the transonic zone. This way it offers good performance at extended distances, contributing to higher hit percentages at longer ranges.

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June 22nd, 2015

New 6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide from AccurateShooter.com

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge Guide AccurateShooter.com 6.5 Guys

AccurateShooter.com has released the most complete discussion of the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge ever published. Our new 6.5×47 Cartridge Guide is packed with information. If you own a 6.5×47 rifle, or are thinking of building a rifle with this chambering, definitely read this Cartridge Guide from start to finish. Our comprehensive, 5000-word article was researched and written by the 6.5 Guys, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence. Both Ed and Steve shoot the 6.5×47 Lapua in competition and they are experts on this accurate and efficient mid-sized cartridge.

CLICK HERE to READ NEW 6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide

You’ll find everything you need to know about the 6.5×47 Lapua in our new Cartridge Guide. We cover ballistics, reloading, die selection, and we provide an extensive list of recommended loads, for bullets from 120 to 140 grains. You can read interviews with respected experts who’ve built and tested many 6.5×47 rifles. The Guide includes helpful tech tips such as how to maximize the powder fill in your cases. This Cartridge Guide can put you on the “fast track” — helping you develop accurate, reliable loads with minimal development time.

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge guide6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide Highlights:

  • Cartridge Specifications
  • Comprehensive Load Data
  • Best Bullets and Primers for 6.5×47
  • Ballistics Comparison Charts
  • Sizing and Seating Die Options
  • 6mm-6.5×47 (Necked-Down) Options
  • Ask the Experts Section
  • Tips for Accurate Reloading
  • Brass Life and Annealing
  • Chambering and Gunsmithing Tips
  • 6.5×47 Lapua for Hunting
  • 6.5×47 Lapua for Tactical Competition
  • 6.5×47 Factory-Loaded Ammo

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge Guide AccurateShooter.com 6.5 Guys
Here is a sample from the 6.5×47 Cartridge Guide’s Ask the Experts Section. This is an interview with Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series:

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge Guide AccurateShooter.com 6.5 Guys

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge guide

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 11 Comments »
June 14th, 2015

Which is Better: .260 Remington or 6.5×55 Swedish?

6.5x55 SE, 6.5 Swedish 6.6x55mm .260 Rem Remington Laurie Holland comparison

The .260 Remington and the 6.5×55 Swedish (aka 6,5x55mm SE) are both very popular cartridges with hunters and target shooters. The 6.5×55 has a long military heritage and a great record as a hunting round. The .260 Rem, essentially a .308 Win necked down to .264 caliber, is a more recent cartridge, but it grows in popularity every year, being one of the top cartridges for tactical/practical competitions. It offers better ballistics and less recoil than the parent .308 Win cartridge. In our Shooter’s Forum, respected UK gun writer Laurie Holland provided a good summary of the differences between the two chamberings. Laurie writes:

Remington 260 CartridgeThe 6.5×55 case has 6 or 7% more capacity than the .260s, even more in practice when both are loaded to standard COALs with heavy bullets, which sees them having to seated very deep in the .260 Rem using up quite a lot of powder capacity. So loaded up for reasonable pressures in modern actions, the 6.5×55 will give a bit more performance.

The issue for many is what action length is available or wanted, the 6.5×55 requiring a long action. So sniper rifle / tactical rifle competitors will go for the .260 Rem with the option of the many good short-bolt-throw designs around with detachable box magazines (DBMs). If a bit more performance is needed, the .260 AI (photo right) can yield another 100-150 fps velocity, depending on bullet weight.

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June 14th, 2015

Find Optimal Barrel Twist-Rate with Berger Stability Calculator

Berger twist rate calculatorBerger Twist-Rate Stability Calculator
On the updated Berger Bullets website you’ll find a handy Twist-Rate Stability Calculator that predicts your gyroscopic stability factor (SG) based on mulitiple variables: velocity, bullet length, bullet weight, barrel twist rate, ambient temperature, and altitude. This very cool tool tells you if your chosen bullet will really stabilize in your barrel.

LIVE DEMO BELOW — Just enter values in the data boxes and click “Calculate SG”.

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June 10th, 2015

Berger Unveils New 6.5mm 130gr AR Hybrid Tactical Bullet

Berger Bullets AR Hybrid 130gr 130 grain OTM Tactical mag-length bullet

Berger Bullets has just announced a new 6.5 mm (.264 caliber) 130gr Hybrid projectile. Optimized for magazine-length seating (and AR10-friendly), the new 130gr bullets should be ideal for tactical comps and the PRS series. We expect this new bullet to work great when loaded in modern mid-size cartridges such as the 6.5×47 Lapua and 6.5 Creedmoor. Berger’s new 6.5mm 130gr Match AR Hybrid OTM Tactical bullet (could Berger come up with a longer name?) will soon be released to the public. Berger says this new 130-grainer is the first of many new bullet designs to be introduced in the next few years. Here is a run-down on the new bullet from its designer, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics.

NEW 130gr Hybrid — Behind the Design

by Bryan Litz, Berger Chief Ballistician
Intelligent bullet design and selection begins with an understanding of application constraints. For bullets that will be used in unlimited rifles, there are few constraints and performance can truly be maximized. However, many shooting applications have realistic constraints such as magazine feeding of loaded rounds. In constrained applications, you need to ask the question: “What’s the best bullet that will work within the constraints of my shooting application?”

The new Berger 6.5mm 130 grain AR Hybrid OTM Tactical bullet is specifically optimized for maximum performance in magazine-length ammo.

6.5mm cartridges are the second most common cartridges used by top shooters in many of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches, with 6mm being the most common. These kinds of tactical matches all have stages that require repeating rifles — either AR-10 platforms or bolt guns — so magazine feeding is a must. Recognizing that Berger did not have an option that was truly optimized for this particular application, we went to work and the latest 6.5mm Hybrid is the result.

SUMMARY
The new Berger 6.5mm 130 grain AR Hybrid OTM Tactical bullet is specifically optimized for use in loaded ammo with COAL constraints for magazine feeding. This bullet maximizes overall performance through BC as well as achievable muzzle velocity in mid-capacity 6.5mm cartridges fed from AR-length magazines.

What makes this bullet optimal for magazine length ammo? To start with, the nose of the bullet is constrained in length so that when it’s loaded to mag length in 6.5mm cartridges such as the 6.5mm Creedmoor, 260 Remington and 6.5×47 Lapua, the nose of the bullet won’t be pushed below the case mouth. This can be an issue with some of the heavier 6.5mm bullets like the 140s. Furthermore, the hybrid ogive design is not sensitive to jump distance like some other designs such as the VLD.

Another consideration of length-constrained ammo is how much of the bullet is pushed down into the case. The inside of the case is for powder, and the more space you take up with bullet, the less powder you can fit in. Less powder means less total energy available, and muzzle velocity is depressed. A bullet weight of 130 grains is an optimal balance between external ballistic performance (BC) and internal case capacity considerations which translate into muzzle velocity. Further to this objective, the AR Hybrid has a minimal air gap in the front of the nose, which allows the bullet to have an even shorter OAL. When dealing with length-constrained designs, you need to pack as much bullet into as little length as possible< to optimize overall performance. Another advantage of making the bullet shorter is that stability, including transonic stability, is improved. Although this design is length-constrained, the combination of a hybrid ogive and 7 degree Boat Tail produce a very respectable G7 form factor of 0.920 which is within 1% of the popular 6mm 105 grain Hybrid. See below for full live fire ballistic performance data.

65 130 AR Hybrid Ballistic Performance

The 6.5mm 130 grain AR Hybrid will be barely stable from a 1:9″ twist, and reaches full stability from a 1:8″ twist which is common for many 6.5mm rifles. Visit the Berger Bullets twist rate calculator to get more detailed stability information on your specific barrel twist, muzzle velocity and environment.

Cartridge Selection for Magazine Length Constraint — Advanced Analysis
The trend to smaller calibers in magazine-fed rifles is happening for a very good reason. For a .308 Winchester round, you only have 2.37 calibers of nose length available for the bullet to protrude from the case. Such a short nose will have relatively high drag for the caliber. By contrast, smaller calibers such as 6.5mm and 6mm have proportionally more length available for the nose to protrude from the case and still fit in the same COAL constraint. 65 130 AR Hybrid Cartridge ComparisonProportionally longer noses mean lower drag. Proportionally longer bullets mean higher sectional density. Combine an elevated sectional density with lower drag, and you get higher BC bullets. For example, consider a 175 grain .30 caliber bullet commonly used in .308 Winchester M118LR-type ammo. These 175 grain bullets have G7 BCs in the neighborhood of .243 to .260. Neck the .308 down to 6.5mm (260 Remington) or 6mm (.243 Winchester) and now look at the BCs of the bullets available in these calibers which work within the same magazine length constraint. The 6.5mm 130 grain AR Hybrid has a G7 BC of 0.290, and the 6mm 105 grain Hybrid has a G7 BC of 0.278 — both of which are higher than the .30 cal 175 grain bullet BC. Furthermore, you get hundreds of feet per second more velocity with the necked-down cartridges as well.

All of the above translates into higher hit percentage. See the caliber comparison chart below* which is an excerpt taken from the book: Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting which addresses this and many other topics in even more detail.

65 130 AR Hybrid Ballistic Performance

*The Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) analysis shown above is for a 1000-yard shot on a standard IPSC silhouette in an uncertain environment having: +/- 2 mph wind, +/- 1 yard range, Muzzle Velocity SD of 10 fps, and a rifle shooting 1 MOA groups.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
June 10th, 2015

How to Use Press-Mounted Bullet-Pulling Tools

Collet Bullet Puller Hornady RCBS Press Mount Reloading

In our Shooters’ Forum, a member recently noted that he needed to pull down (disassemble) some ammunition that was loaded incorrectly by one of his shooting buddies. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Hornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On Hornady’s Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

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June 9th, 2015

How to Craft Your Own Chamber Length Gauge

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

We are sad to report that long-time Forum member Frank S. (aka fdShuster) passed away this year. Frank was a very knowledgeable shooter who was always willing to help others. Here is one of Frank’s smart inventions. He devised a way to measure the length of a rifle’s chamber using a fired cartridge case. Frank’s system works by cutting a “collar” from part of the case neck. This then slips over a bullet seated in a case loaded without powder or primer. As you chamber the dummy round, the collar will move back to indicate the full length of the chamber. (Make sure the bullet is seated well off the lands so the dummy round can chamber fully.)

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

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June 8th, 2015

Hornady 17 WSM Rimfire Ammo Now Available

Hornady 17 WSM ammunition rimfire

Varmint hunters rejoice. At long last Hornady-brand 17 WSM (Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire) ammo is available. In case you haven’t heard by now, the 17 WSM is the fastest rimfire cartridge ever created. With muzzle velocities in the 3000 fps range, the 17 WSM enjoys a considerable advantage over even the hottest 17 HMR rounds you can buy. Winchester has produced its own 17 WSM ammo, but that was hard to find. Now Hornady is producing 17 WSM ammo loaded with 20gr V-Max tipped bullets. Grafs.com has the new Hornady ammo in-stock now at $15.99 per box of 50 rounds. Order soon if you want some. We expect this stuff to go very quickly…

Hornady 17 WSM rimfire ammo

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June 5th, 2015

Lake City Ammuntion — Video Reveals Manufacturing Process

lake city army ammunition plant

Lake City Ammunition PlantWhat’s the next best thing to a stockpile of gleaming, freshly-loaded ammo? How about a movie showing gleaming, freshly-loaded ammo being made — from start to finish? The five-minute video below shows the ammunition production process at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, a division of ATK. Lake City is the largest producer of small arms ammunition for the U.S. military, producing roughly four MILLION small-caliber rounds every day.

This promotional video does go a bit overboard at times in a self-congratulatory sense. But the video is definitely worth watching — it is fascinating to watch the process of creating cartridges — from the drawing (or extrusion) of raw brass into casings to the placement of projectiles and primers.

Quick History of Lake City Ammunition Plant
Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) is a 3,935-acre government-owned, contractor-operated facility in Independence, Missouri that was established by Remington Arms in 1941 to manufacture and test small caliber ammunition for the U.S. Army. The facility has remained in continuous operation except for one 5-year period following World War II. As of July 2007, the plant produced nearly 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition per year. Remington Arms operated the plant from its inception until 1985, when operations were taken over by Olin Corporation. From April 2001 through the present, it has been operated by Alliant Techsystems (ATK), which in February 2015 split into two separate companies, Orbital ATK and Vista Outdoors.

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June 1st, 2015

Buell’s Beast: Heavy Artillery for ELR and 2-Mile Match

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35
Click above image to view full-screen photo.

Our friend Darrell Buell has a new Beast — a monster 64-inch-long .375 CheyTac that weighs more than 70 pounds! Designed for ultra-long-range shooting (two miles and beyond), this beast represents the state-of-the-art in extreme long-range rifles.

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35

Darrell reports: “This rifle is pretty much purpose-built to shoot 2+ miles extremely accurately. It is a .375 CheyTac (lengthened) built on a BAT 2.5″ action. The custom 35″, 1:10″-twist Brux barrel is a fat, 2″-diameter ‘straight taper’ with fluting. A custom 5″-long muzzle brake is fitted at the end. All barreled action work was done by R.W. Snyder Custom Rifles. The stock was created to fit the build by PDC Custom, and the massive muzzle brake as well.” The “bridge” at the end may look like a barrel block, but it’s not — the barrel completely free-floats. (The Picatinny rail on top of the bridge allows use of an overhanging bipod as an alternative to the JoyPod).

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35
Darrell has lots of elevation on tap: “With 150 MOA in the Ivey rings, another 20 MOA in the scope rail, 55 MOA in the Nightforce Competition scope, and 10 MOA in the FCR-1 reticle, there’s an impressive +235 MOA available.”

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May 31st, 2015

Twist Rate: Common Misconceptions about Twist and Stabilization

FirearmsID.com barrel rifling diagram

Understanding Twist: Bullet Stabilization

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog.

Based on the questions we get on a daily basis on our 800 (Customer Support) line, twist is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the gun field. So let’s look deeper into this mystery and get a better understanding of what twist really means.

When you see the term 1:14″ (1-14) or 1:9″ twist, just exactly what does this mean? A rifle having a 1:14″ twist means the bullet will rotate one complete revolution every fourteen inches of the barrel. Naturally a 1:9″ turns one time every nine inches that it travels down the barrel. Now, here’s something that some people have trouble with. I’ve had calls from shooters thinking that a 1:14″ twist was faster than a 1:9″ because the number was higher with the 1:14″. The easiest way to remember this is the higher the number, the slower the twist rate is.

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